Incoming transfer Primo Spears checks off a few boxes the Florida State Seminoles need to be fixed.
Up until this addition, the Florida State Seminoles had struggled in the transfer portal. Matthew Cleveland and Caleb Mills, two of FSU’s top three scorers, decided to leave the program. Big man Naheem McLeod, guard Tibor Palinkas and Redshirt-Freshman Jeremiah Bembry are also looking for new schools.
The ‘Noles had also only brought in two transfers. Josh Nickelberry started his college basketball career at Louisville, before transferring to La Salle, where he averaged over 11 points the past two seasons. Forward Jamir Watkins comes to Tallahassee after spending two seasons with VCU as a dependable scorer and rebounder.
While Nickelberry and Watkins should both be important pieces of next year’s Florida State Seminoles team, Primo Spears is an absolute difference-maker.
What are Primo Spears’ strengths?
The Hartford native’s biggest asset is scoring the basketball. He led the Georgetown Hoyas with 16.0 PPG last season. The Hoyas may not have been a quality team, but putting up those numbers in the Big East is no easy feat. Spears had 37 points at Xavier, 26 against Providence, 22 at home against the Musketeers, and 19 at UConn. Those were all NCAA Tournament teams last season, proving Spears’ ability to put up points against the top competition.
Spears is also an elite passer. He ranked second to Big East Player of the Year Tyler Kolek with 5.3 assists per game. He did commit 3.3 turnovers per game, which is something to keep an eye on. But the 6-3 guard has an innate ability to get the ball moving to open players. His court vision is next level.
How does Primo Spears fit with the Florida State Seminoles?
Right off the bat, Spears should be looked at as the number one option. The Seminoles only averaged 69.3 PPG last year, 235th in the country. Leonard Hamilton may preach defense, but in today’s age of college basketball, you still need to be able to score. Spears can take over in that department.
He can also help with some pace of play issues. Spears is a shifty guard and likes to play fast, something FSU didn’t do a lot of last year. The Seminoles were 157th in average possessions per game, having a lot to do with their inability to score at times.
Spears will still have to adjust to the Leonard Hamilton way, but he can open up different options for the ‘Noles to succeed. He should bring a newfound energy.
Overall fit grade & final thoughts
Florida State needs scoring and Primo Spears can deliver on that. But the Seminoles also turned the ball over a lot and weren’t the best three-point shooting team in 2022-23. Spears may do more harm than good in those areas. He isn’t a knock-down long-range shooter and has had turnover problems throughout his career.
Sometimes it’s all about a new change of scenery. Spears may have found that with Florida State.